PHOTO CREDIT: TASHA CHORNEYKO

Things to do

Indoor and outdoor recreation in the District of Elkford, a remote community of the Canadian Rockies, located in the wilderness of the East Kootenay region.

Whether you’re looking to get fit, get outside, get creative or get involved in the community, Elkford offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Visitor Centre

Elkford’s Visitor Centre is located within the modern, spacious Community Conference Centre at 750 Fording Drive. The Elkford Visitor Centre provides a wealth of information about attractions, trails, activities and amenities in the Canadian Rockies region. 

The Elkford Visitor Centre offers:

  • Knowledgeable local staff with insider tips about trails, camping and natural attractions
  • A gift shop filled with branded souvenirs and clothing
  • Maps, brochures and guidebooks
  • Campground reservations for Elkford’s Municipal Campground
  • Indoor washrooms and water-bottle refilling stations
  • Free public Wi-Fi and comfortable furniture 

For more information, contact 250.865.4015, visit 750 Fording Drive or email visitorcentre@elkford.ca.

Hiking & Mountain Biking

Lace up your boots and leash up your dog! Elkford contains over 30 kilometres of scenic hiking trails. Beloved local trails include Bare Hill Lookout, the Boivin Creek Peace Trail, Lost Lake and Lily Lake loops and Josephine Falls. Elkford is the first British Columbian community that travellers using the Trans Canada Trail visit after crossing into B.C.’s Elk Lakes Provincial Park from Alberta, and the Great Divide Trail also runs through Elkford.

**Note that within the district boundaries, dogs must always be kept leashed and under control.

More of an adrenaline junkie? Experienced climbers and seasoned backcountry hikers delight in summitting the craggy peaks that surround town—including local favourites, Wapiti Mountain and Grizzly Peak—and hardcore mountain bikers enjoy the sublime single-track that snakes through the Elk Valley’s subalpine terrain.

Want to learn more about non-motorized trails in Elkford? Visit Parks & Trails or the Elkford Trails Alliance.

Camping

Dream about ditching the hustle and bustle of the city? Escape into the wilderness of the Kootenay Rockies—all within walking distance from groceries, gas stations, restaurants and other amenities. Camp at one of the nine forest recreation campsites in the Elk Valley or book your spot at the Elkford Municipal Campground.

The Elkford Municipal Campground has 77 sites, a shower house with flush toilets, pit toilets and a cookhouse shelter. The cookhouse shelter features wildlife-resistant storage lockers for tenters, and the showers and flush toilets are wheelchair accessible. Amenities within the campground itself include fire pits, electrical hookups, picnic tables and complimentary firewood.

This riverfront campground boasts spectacular mountain views and prime river access, with its boundaries framed by the beautiful Fording River and its tributary, Boivin Creek. Additionally, it provides easy access to outdoor walking trails, a community baseball diamond, children’s playground and a Devonian Park, offering a creekside playground and accessible washroom.

For reservations, or for more information, contact the Elkford Municipal Campground at 250.865.4010 or at campground@elkford.ca

Golfing

At Mountain Meadows Golf Course, golfers of all ages and abilities can enjoy a round of golf with incredible scenery. The nine-hole layout was built on a natural elk grazing meadow in 1976. Each hole has two sets of tees, so the back nine plays much differently than the front nine. The course winds through towering spruce trees and along a bubbling brook, where water comes in to play, and offers spectacular mountain views all the way through

Fishing & Hunting

The Elk and Fording Rivers are an angler’s paradise, with an abundance of Westslope Cutthroat, Bull and Rainbow Trout populating the largely undisturbed waters. 

Whether you prefer to fish in rivers, streams or pristine alpine lakes, we ask that you obtain a fishing licence and adhere to all B.C. and water-specific fishing regulations. Come armed with a cooler full of cold drinks and spend a lazy summer day casting in world-class Kootenay waters. 

Every year, hunters flock to Elkford to experience the rugged peaks, deep valleys and endless challenges that hunting in the Elk Valley present. Whether you’re pursuing the adrenaline rush of a trophy hunt, or simply looking to fill your fridge with fresh meat for the winter, our game animals will not disappoint. In the Elkford area, there are bountiful hunting opportunities for elk, whitetail and mule deer, grouse, bear, bighorn sheep and moose.  

Always follow current hunting regulations, carry all appropriate and regulated licences and practice safe firearm handling.

Looking for the low-down on fishing and hunting in Elkford? Contact the Elkford Rod and Gun Club for more information on fishing and hunting, as well as for membership information at elkfordrodandgunclub.ca

ATV/ORV Riding

Get ready to rip! The Elkford area has hundreds of kilometres of spectacular riding trails—with trails suitable for all levels, from beginner to expert—and a dedicated ATV club. The Elkford ATV Club is a responsible group of motorized environmentalists, as well as the only ATV/BC affiliated club in the Elk Valley. 

Currently, within the boundaries of the District of Elkford, you must carry a minimum of one million dollars in third-party liability insurance, a valid driver’s licence, wear a helmet and purchase an annual permit from the District of Elkford and display the sticker on your plates. You should always carry your insurance and licence, and your machine should have a provincial plate with an up-to-date sticker.
Riders who do not abide by the regulations governing off-road vehicles risk facing penalties and fines from the District of Elkford, the Province of British Columbia and the RCMP. 

Always ride safely and check up-to-date regulations before heading out! Learn more about motorized trails and current ATV/ORV regulations in the Elk Valley by visiting Elkford ATV Club: elkfordtrails.com/atv-club/

Snowboarding & Skiing

At 1,300 metres above sea level—and at one of the highest elevations in British Columbia—Elkford welcomes 10 to 16 feet of snowpack annually, making it superb locale for powderhounds to sniff out fresh snow. A nearby neighbour of the cities of Fernie, Cranbrook and Kimberley, Elkford boasts comparable downhill and cross-country conditions, without the crowds.  
Skip the lineups and spend more time carving up the slopes! Enjoy some fresh powder at any time of day, with a lit hill perfect for nighttime skiing and snowboarding. Wapiti Ski Club is a volunteer-operated facility, located right in Elkford. Wapiti Ski Hill offers an array of complete runs, with 1000 vertical feet of elevation gain and enough variety to keep the whole family entertained!

Visit wapitiskiclub.com for more information. 

Cross-country Skiing

Experience the tranquility of a winter wonderland with breathtaking backcountry views. Whether you prefer Nordic, telemark, alpine or classic cross-country skiing, you are guaranteed to enjoy exploring the endless trail systems in the Elkford region. 

Learn more about local ski trails, trail conditions and maintenance, as well as membership through the Elkford Nordic Ski Club

Popular cross-country trails in town include:

  • Boivin Creek: A moderate, 8-kilometre cross country skiing trail with a gradual climb, including 300 metres of elevation gain along Boivin Creek to the base of Mount Phillips. Two ski cabins are located along the way for resting and warming up; one about 3 kilometres out of town and another at 7.5 kilometres. Coming into town, turn left at the four-way stop. Follow the directional signs to Wapiti Ski Hill. Once the pavement turns to gravel at the bend in the road, the signed trailhead is visible to the left.
  • Golf Course Trail: Visit Mountain Meadows Golf Club for a moderate ski trail with extraordinary mountain views! Enter through the main parking lot and the set track begins just to the right of the club house. 

Snowmobiling

Haul your sled to the trails and BRAAAP! Snowmobile season in Elkford usually runs from November to May—and sometimes even longer. Experience the freshest snow, highest mountain passes, lowest valleys and basins that will take your breath away. Conditions range from beginner-friendly trails—suitable for the whole family—to virtually limitless, rugged alpine terrain for advanced sledders.

**Be advised that avalanche activity in the alpine backcountry is high, and riders are always required to be prepared, monitor current conditions and pack adequate safety gear. You’ll also need to carry your up-to-date permit and plates, as well as a copy of your insurance.

Depending on the season, Elkford has up to 100 kilometres of groomed snowmobile trails each year, offering the ultimate backcountry riding experience for riders of all kinds. If you love to shred, you’ll love exploring our backyard!

A maze of trails snake through the Elk Valley, which stretches more than 60 kilometres north of town to the Alberta border. Among the most popular areas are the meadows and alpine bowls at Koko Claims, just a few kilometres west of the staging area. The Claims main trail is also the gateway to infinite family riding on unplowed forest service roads in the Bull River Valley to the west. The bowls at Mear Lake and Smith Basin in the Koko Claims area are accessible by intermediate riders. The trails into the Tundra and the Gorge are best suited for confident, advanced riders with bigger machines. 

For more information about snowmobiling trails and trail passes, contact the Elkford Snowmobile Association

Photography

If relaxing against majestic mountain backdrops is more your speed, Elkford also provides more laid-back outdoor pursuits.

Landscape photographers will recognize Elkford as the gateway to some of the most legendary (and largely undiscovered) wilderness parks in Western Canada: Elk Lakes and Height of the Rockies Provincial Parks. Each summer, their alpine basins fill with wildflowers and explode into kaleidoscopic bloom. 

If you’re more interested in wildlife photography, the Wilderness Capital of B.C. is the place to find it! Wildlife native to the Elk Valley include grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, moose, lynx, wolves, wolverines, foxes, cougars, elk and deer. In fact, more bighorn sheep inhabit the Elkford area than any other place in North America, and wildlife photographers will be pleased to find them dotting the cliffs on the edges of town.
 

Toboggan Hill

Don’t forget that kids (and kids at heart!) are welcome to toboggan and play in the snow at the toboggan hill, located in the soccer field next to the District Office. Lit every evening from 5 to 10 p.m., this classic winter activity is family-friendly!

Bring your favourite sled, toboggan or snow carpet and enjoy the hill! Four-legged family members are also welcome, but please remember to keep pets on a leash and pick up after them.

Clubs and Associations

Elkford has a diverse selection of thriving clubs, associations and not-for-profit organisations to suit everyone’s needs and interests. From arts and culture, to organised sports, to community enhancement, religious services and outdoor recreation, there’s something for everyone!

Check out the Clubs and Associations Directory